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And there goes the zipper...

...on the RS rolling carryon. It's the extension zipper, so not needing immediate repair, but I see a different luggage option in my future. This bag was a downsize from the 22" RS carryon, which I liked a lot.

The bag was not overpacked, in fact the zipper pull apparently just fell off. I never used the extension feature. Now my bag looks huge😫 and will probably have to go into the sizing box.

Posted by
5260 posts

Oh no, Zoe!

Is this the first time you've use this bag?

Perhaps you can find a luggage strap which will help keep the bag looking
"fit" and you can still take it as a carry on.

Edit to add...

If the zipper pull broke off, can you attach a paper clip, or a safety pin, to the part where the pull broke off?

Posted by
11613 posts

I can still carry it on, it squishes down enough, just a pain.

Posted by
2147 posts

Hi Zoe, the same thing happened to my RS rolling carry on. Call the RS office when you get home and ask them to replace the bag. Safe travels.

Posted by
9856 posts

When I saw this title in the list of topics in the second column of the Forum home page, I thought for sure this was Mike Beebe's latest installment on his trip to Paris . ..

: )

Posted by
20437 posts

I have pulls that have come off my big and small luggage as well as my golf bag. So this problem is universal and the "Made in China" label engenders such confidence in the quality. The old Baskins-Robbins mantra: "There is nothing in this world that someone cannot make a little bit cheaper and charge a little bit less; and the man for whom price is the sole criterion is this person's lawful prey."

Posted by
27407 posts

I once found myself sitting on a train in Switzerland on Day 2 of a trip, using my self-made sewing kit to repair a suitcase, an umbrella and a raincoat. When essentials like that fail during a trip, it's really frustrating. I hope you find a simple solution so you don't have to think about it any more. I'm looking at 4 months of wondering whether my 3-wheeled suitcase will make it home, which isn't exactly the most relaxing situation.

Actually, the zipper pull on my down coat (not needed for Europe) broke off at home not long ago. Never had that happen before.

Posted by
362 posts

I have that same bag. I took it on my last trip to Costa Rica and LOVED it!!!

Now I'm hoping I never need to use the extender feature.

I hope you're able to get it onboard without issue!

Posted by
11613 posts

Thanks, everyone. This bag has done almost a year of European travel (90 days 3.5 times), but this zipper thing just brings into focus the rest of my tiny dissatisfactions with this bag versus the old one (which I gave to a student going on his first trip abroad).

I will get in touch with the RS store, but I don't want another bag like this one. I'll be checking with Frank II and others for recommendations.

And Kim, I am waiting for MB's next installment, too!

I would buy a couple of cheap luggage compression "cinch" straps at a place similar to Wal-Mart or wide belts to keep the bag from sagging too much until the end of the trip. Something you can just wrap around and tighten. Not a crisis - just an annoyance.

Posted by
11613 posts

True, Sunbaked, just an annoyance. I use packing cubes and now fasten the interior straps, so it's not terrible.

Posted by
8631 posts

Zoe, like a pitcher, once you lose confidence in your bag, its got to go. Too many good ones out there. However, if you wanted to keep it, could you just replace the zipper pulls? I've used the ones from REI zipper pulland Tom Bihn to replace lost ones on jackets.

Posted by
6372 posts

Zoe, I know you said you don't want the same bag as a replacement, but you might still consider calling RSE. One of my friends here had a similar (or possibly the same) problem with her RS bag, and it was replaced, no questions asked. Whether or not you want another one, RSE needs to know if there's a recurring problem with the bag.

Posted by
11613 posts

Thanks, Stan. I will check those out.

Jane, I will definitely let the RS store know.

I may also try to get it repaired while I'm here, I have a few weeklong stays coming up.

Posted by
1068 posts

Bad news when luggage fails. I have had several in my traveling life. Two were from RS luggage. One was the interior plastic buckle broke on a tightening strap and the other was the strap broke on the Euro Flight Bag. RS replaced both pieces of luggage. I am always torn between buying really good luggage and more modestly priced stuff like RS. Considering their heavy use, I think RS has held up well. I also have some pieces by Red Oxx which are built like tanks, but definitely heavier and more expensive. I think if Red Oxx made wheeled luggage I would likely go for that. Good luck resolving the luggage issue on your trip.

Posted by
2713 posts

We have a formidable luggage collection. Most of it will go to the next garage sale. Some have outlived their usefulness, such as the behemoths we used when our kids were small and we were packing for 5 (including formal wear-who does this anymore?) for cruises. I can't imagine how I lifted these! Several, matching smaller pieces as well, ripped, zippers failed, won't close quite right, etc. When we started packing light we invested in better stuff. We use Travelpro and like it although some design features are not great (the spinners tip over on occasion when weighted down with an accessories bag). Now we have made the big investment in Briggs&Riley spinners. We have their rollaboards for many years but too big for international. They are years old and other than cosmetics, and a squeaky wheel that they replaced, sturdy as can be. And we've checked those many times. The spinners will get their tryout this summer although I've been using them for business travel. The rational-swallow hard, spend the big bucks up front, have these for the rest of our travel lives with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. That versus replacing a cheaper bag every few years or the hassle of a malfunction while abroad.

Posted by
1097 posts

Zoe - can you explain what happened with the zipper on the extension section? Did you just lose the pull, or did the zipper come apart and won't go back together? I have this same bag and want to check it for signs of a problem before getting on a plane with it in 24 days (but who's counting?). :)

Posted by
5697 posts

I have used keychains as zipper pulls -- adds to your ability to spot your luggage, too.

Posted by
16866 posts

I believe she is talking about the slider, not the zipper pull ( which is simply the cord or plastic attachment your fingers grip when zipping or un-zipping).

If the slider comes off, a plastic zipper will open itself from the end if subjected to any pressure at all. And then it cannot be re-zipped.

Posted by
15666 posts

I'm halfway through the RS Village Italy tour and using a RS Ravenna Carry On. Today, the top handle came off. Very difficult to now carry the bag.

And I have another RS tour after this one.

Other people on my tour are complaining about RS products.

Posted by
11613 posts

Lola, I think you are right about the slide, but the zipper pull is also gone. And, the bag can't be rezipped.

Thanks to all for your advice and comments.

Posted by
3259 posts

It is a pain when there is a defect while on vacation, I agree. However, I have two positive thoughts on this:
1. A solid year of travel with just an extension zipper breaking is darn good IMO.
2. You now get to go luggage shopping! I'd hate to always have to use the same suitcase for carryon for The.Rest.Of.My.Life. Carryons and underseat bags are one of the only things I enjoy shopping for...

Posted by
10345 posts

Zoe--check Lipault.it. Very light and pretty good. You might want to buy, use, and get the detax.

Posted by
11613 posts

Wray, I agree about shopping.

And Bets, that's a great idea, that's the company I was considering.

Posted by
2713 posts

Lipault=3 year warranty.
Briggs & Riley= lifetime warranty.
No brainer unless your passion is buying new luggage every three years.

Posted by
15666 posts

I used the Lipault Foldable 22 on my last two previous trips and had no problem. (Both trips 10-12 weeks). I used the Rick Steves Ravenna two weeks and it broke.

A warranty isn't great if the bag breaks during a trip and it has to be replaced.

Posted by
27407 posts

I'm with Frank.

And it's not just the hassle of a mid-European-trip problem: i assume warranty repairs and replacements normally require return of the bag to the seller or its designated representative. Now you have to find a suitable shipping carton. And have you priced postage costs on large boxes (however light) lately? Given those major annoyances, I think I prefer something cheap and disposable.

In fairness to the manufacturers and sellers, handles and (especially) wheels are hanging out there just waiting to be damaged by airline baggage handlers and automated equipment.

Posted by
11613 posts

Except for one flight, this bag has never been checked. One thing I liked about the 22" RS rolling carryon was the cloth cover that snapped over the handle, making it seem a little more secure if/when handled by personnel or machines.

Posted by
5053 posts

Zoe, When you return and contact the RS office about the problem, please let us know what transpires.

Posted by
11613 posts

Will do, TC, but that will be in mid-August.

Posted by
2713 posts

Well, as my mother used to say, good ain't cheap and cheap ain't good. A cheap and disposable bag will break, and it won't be while it's sitting at home. It will happen on a trip. If you are counting on those zippers to close, those wheels to stay on and roll, this is important. Who wants to shop for luggage on vacation? A bag with a lifetiime warranty is just built better, probably won't break. My only problem with a Briggs and Riley bag, after 6 years of hard use, was a squeaky wheel. Not a functional problem, just annoying noise. They give you the option of using one of many regional repair centers or shipping it to them. No repair authorization needed. Yes, you pay to ship, they take care of the return. We instead took the bag to a local dealer, not where we purchased it. They said they had never heard a wheel squeak like that. They contacted Briggs & Riley who authorized a return and they paid the freight both ways. I remain a happy customer!

Posted by
3259 posts

No brainer unless your passion is buying new luggage every three years.

Yes, shopping for bags is my thing. :) Although, I haven't had any problems with my bags other than boredom...

Posted by
15666 posts

I probably have more bags than most. Sadly, the only bags I have ever had problems with are the ones offered on this website. I realize they want to keep the sales price point low but as costs keep rising they have to keep cutting quality. And at some point it will hurt them with complaints.

Briggs & Riley make excellent bags and are probably one of the leading manufacturers. However, in their current lineup, the only "wheeled" bags they make that meets both U.S. and standard European size limits, without being much smaller, weigh over 8 lbs. A little heavy for my taste.

Eagle Creek also offers a lifetime "No Matter What" warranty. I have many of their bags and have never had a problem. And they are far less expensive than B & R.

Posted by
206 posts

Putting in my two cents for Tortuga. Packed mine to the max and zippers are fine...however, my cheapie "Made in China" purse has already threatened to fail, so I am being extra gentle with it (it is my personal item for flights and I am using a different bag as my day bag--G-4 ultra lightweight pack).

DH is using Rick Steves Appenzell day pack, so far, so good.
But I have had two Veloce iPad bags with zipper fails, RS folks have replaced one at no charge, but I haven't dealt with asking about the second one yet.

https://www.tortugabackpacks.com
Good luck and happy hunting, Zoe!

Posted by
9856 posts

I think I've written elsewhere that I too am obsessed with bags and one of my pastimes in the airport or train station is observing what people are carrying/lugging/pulling. I so desperately wanted a new suitcase for this trip I just finished but couldn't justify it. But my old Samsonite warhorse (the medium-sized one that I carry most of the time) is nearly 20 years old and HEAVY. Zippers are starting to have problem with shredding fabric (i guess in the zip itself??), the rubber coating on the interior of the outside pockets is starting to deteriorate, thus making things put there nasty (i've faced with plastic for a temporary fix), but mainly it's just that a bag of that size shouldn't weigh that much these days.

I have a couple of issues though, well actually three. I really do NOT want a spinner, and two-wheelers are getting harder and harder to find; I've always really loved having a suitcase with a couple of external pockets so you can get to some things without fully opening the bag (and all these lightweight shells these days, while light and durable, definitely don't allow for that); and I'm not in the States, where I feel like there are so many more options to find something decent for a good price.

I've looked at the Lipault and should have bought one when I saw it on sale about a year ago, but hesitated. Now they seem to be really eliminating two-wheelers in favor of spinners. Also, this is a bag that I often check, and the Lipault doesn't seem to me to be good for that.

I miss having a TJ Maxx or Marshalls to go for reconnaissance. I really want an Eagle Creek, but there aren't many sellers here. I guess I should just order one and have it sent to my parents, and get it next time I'm home. A fellow Forum member was kind enough to send me a notice of a sale . . .

My mom and I bought my dad a Briggs & Riley maybe 10-15 years ago, with which he's been very happy; my brother has one too. But since I very rarely travel for work, I just can't justify one for myself.

Kim,
I don't know your financials. Think of some of the useless stuff we buy for ourselves - just because. I know B&R suitcases are high dollar. If you travel a lot and it will be useful and a pleasure for you - you can justify the splurge and just enjoy. Think of how many days or weeks you will use it and the cost over the long haul compared to so many other things we spend money on. I think if you can afford it without going hungry or missing a rent payment - then buy it guilt free and simply enjoy.

Posted by
9856 posts

Sun-Baked, excellent point. I've definitely amortized the cost of my Samsonite (bought at the outlet in Freeport, Maine, in 1999). Sadly my income and expenses at this point just don't allow for such an "extravagance" (not that it's an extravagance, it's actually excellent value, I recognize). We bought our apartment last year - another wise investment, but doesn't leave a lot of money for "extras." I guess I have my Parisian art deco apartment -- but not my Briggs & Riley!

Posted by
11613 posts

Kim, you can't get a good night's sleep in a Briggs & Riley. Congratulations on the apartment.

Posted by
16088 posts

...you can't get a good night's sleep in a Briggs & Riley.

Dunno, Zoe. The size of some cases I've seen wrestled through some airports could house a family of 4+ the dog!

Posted by
9856 posts

Zoe, excellent response!! and Kathy too. Believe me, I'm not looking for a fits-the-family suitcase. i have an old warhorse that goes along to schlep all my stuff when I go to the States.

You all do have me looking at eBags and Briggs & Riley sites, thinking, well, maybe my tax refund will come through and . . .

Posted by
1019 posts

Zoe-I am doing this message on my phone so excuse any typos. Ha! Yes I am janes cohert here in Oklahoma....I am the one she was talking about. My zipper broke on the expanding zipper. Yes...RS replaced it for me at no charge. So email or call. I like that idea of the strap . I may have to try that!.

Kim in OK

Posted by
16866 posts

REI has another members sale coming up, starting May 19. They have Eagle Creek, Osprey, their own brand, and sometimes others.